Learning Environment

Learning Environment

IU School of Medicine strives to provide a positive, inclusive environment that is conducive to teaching and learning and embodies the core values of excellence, respect, integrity, diversity and cooperation. All members of the IU School of Medicine community are expected to uphold the tenets of the Honor Code. To maintain the highest standards of professionalism, IU School of Medicine responds in a systematic manner to incidents of student mistreatment and violations of the Honor Code and Teacher-Learner Conduct Policy. Similarly, by recognizing exemplars of professionalism, those who model the IU School of Medicine Honor Code through daily interactions with others, the School demonstrates its core values in action.

Learner Feedback

The School relies on learner feedback to continuously monitor and improve the learning environment—both to identify concerns in the learning environment as well as when IU School of Medicine is at its best. Several avenues are available for learner input, including course and clerkship evaluations, evaluations of individual instructors, the annual Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Graduation Questionnaire, and information submitted through the school’s Mistreatment Reporting Process.

To recognize exemplars of the learning environment is at its best and celebrate those who best model the Honor Code each and every day, IU School of Medicine encourages learners to nominate faculty, residents, fellows, other students and staff members of IU School of Medicine community for recognition by completing the Nomination Form: Exemplar Role Model of the Honor Code.

Nominations are reviewed by a variety of school leaders, which may include representatives of the Office of Medical Student Education, Office of Graduate Medical Education, Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, and Human Resources.

Prevention and Education

A series of modules is available for the school’s faculty and staff to deepen their understanding about mistreatment in the learning environment at the IU School of Medicine. Current modules are available in Canvas. To enroll in the Canvas course, please visit: Understanding and Preventing Mistreatment in the Learning Environment.

Mistreatment Reporting

Per the Association of American Medical Colleges, “mistreatment either intentional or unintentional occurs when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process. Examples of mistreatment include sexual harassment; discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation; humiliation; psychological or physical punishment; and the use of grading and other forms of assessment in a punitive manner.”

IU School of Medicine students or faculty who believe they’ve experienced or witnessed mistreatment are strongly encouraged to report it. The primary and preferred method of reporting mistreatment is through the IU School of Medicine Mistreatment Incident Report Form. Appropriate institutional authorities are automatically alerted when this form is submitted, enabling the School to respond in a rapid and systematic manner. Explore the process for reporting a mistreatment incident.

Other options for raising concerns about mistreatment include:

Learning Environment FAQ

The Teacher Learner Advocacy Committee (TLAC) is responsible for monitoring reports of mistreatment and other indicators of the learning environment. This committee is comprised of faculty, students, residents and staff with representation from the regional campuses, and functions in an advisory role on the prevention of mistreatment and enhancement of professionalism in the teaching and learning environment.

In addition, the IU School of Medicine Ombuds Office serves as a resource where learners and faculty can discuss concerns, complaints, allegations of mistreatment and/or lapses in professionalism with a confidential, impartial, third party. The Ombuds Office serves faculty as well as learners from all nine campuses (including medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows and postdoctoral fellows). The Ombuds office provides periodic reports of aggregate information to TLAC and serves as an ex officio member of that committee.

The Teacher/Learner Advocacy Committee (TLAC) provides a critical advisory role for the School’s efforts to foster and ensure a professional learning environment through monitoring reports of mistreatment, providing support and strategic feedback to School leadership and the Ombuds Office and sponsoring initiatives, outreach and educational programming aimed at enhancing professionalism in all learning environments. In this capacity, TLAC reviews aggregate form data from the IU School of Medicine Mistreatment Incident Report Form, the Graduated Response to Mistreatment System, Ombuds Office, and the annual AAMC Graduation Questionnaire. Using these data to inform their priorities, TLAC conducts outreach programming and educational activities and leads other efforts to enhance the teaching and learning environment.

Retaliation is strictly prohibited; IU School of Medicine believes strongly in protecting learners who report mistreatment in good faith. Explore the Mistreatment Reporting Process.

A student who is dishonest and/or malicious in making an allegation of mistreatment will be referred to the Student Promotions Committee and may be subject to disciplinary action. Similarly, if a resident is dishonest and/or malicious in making an allegation of mistreatment, (s)he may face disciplinary action per policy and procedures of the IU School of Medicine Office of Graduate Medical Education.

Protecting the positive, inclusive and collaborative work and learning environment at IU School of Medicine is the responsibility of the entire community. Still, various groups can help provide assistance for specific types of issues that may arise:

  • Teacher Learner Advocacy Committee (TLAC) monitors reports of mistreatment and other indicators of the learning environment. This committee is comprised of faculty, students, residents and staff with representation from the regional campuses and functions in an advisory role on the prevention of mistreatment and enhancement of professionalism in the teaching and learning environment.
  • Faculty Steering Committee (FSC) is the principal representative body of the faculty and collaborates with school administration, campuses and the university.
  • IU School of Medicine Human Resource Services orients and develops IU School of Medicine staff in order to retain qualified and engaged staff who are informed, valued and supported. The office staff serves as liaisons and consultants for the full spectrum of HR issues.
  • Office of Research Administration Compliance Services is a central resource to ensure IU School of Medicine conducts its educational, research and clinical activities in a manner that is consistent with regulatory, statutory and organizational requirements. This collaborative entity is designed to achieve compliance and to establish the highest ethical standards governing clinical and research activities.
  • IU Health Employee Relations staff educates, trains, advises and consults with managers and employees on the interpretation and application of employee relation policies and issues. They also work with managers to develop and implement strategies for maintaining positive employee relations. IU Health Employee Relations assists managers in developing appropriate actions to resolve any concerns.